The 2014 George Main Stakes field has been released, with ten talented gallopers set to contest the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Chris Waller trained the first six runners home in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) just under a fortnight ago and the leading trainer has Hawkspur, Royal Descent and Sacred Falls backing up in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) this weekend.
Hawkspur returned to winning form for the first time in a year when he took out the Chelmsford Stakes and he has drawn ideally in barrier four in the George Main Stakes barrier draw.
The Purrealist gelding was beaten as favourite in the George Main Stakes last year, finishing fourth behind Streama, but had no luck during the running of the race and looks like he is back to his best this preparation.
Royal Descent (barrier two) finished a close second behind Hawkspur in the Chelmsford Stakes and is still chasing her first race win since she took out the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Rounding out the Waller-trained trio in the George Main Stakes field is two-time Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls, who will start in the inside barrier with Hong Kong-based hoop Zac Purton on his back.
Sacred Falls started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a fourth place finish in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and finished in the same position a fortnight later in the Chelmsford Stakes.
There is plenty of talent outside the Waller-trained horses in the George Main Stakes field and talented Lucia Valentina will be returning to Group 1 level for the first time since she finished an unlucky third in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick in April.
Lucia Valentina (barrier six) returned to the races with an outstanding victory in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes and she is on track to contest the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18.
Rising Romance also returned to racing with a strong effort in the Tramway Stakes and she will have the chance to turn-the-tables on Lucia Valentina when she jumps from barrier seven this weekend, while Toydini (barrier three) and Gypsy Diamond (barrier ten) will also be backing up from the Tramway Stakes.
Arguably the most interesting runner in the George Main Stakes field is promising three-year-old Panzer Division, who will carry just 50 and a half kilograms under the weight-for-age conditions of the Group 1 event.
Panzer Division (barrier eight) scored a dominant three and a half lengths win on debut at Kembla Grange in July and made his black type racing debut with a close second in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 before he scored a comfortable win in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at the same venue on August 6.
The Redoute’s Choice colt has form around Golden Rose Stakes placegetters Scissor Kick and Shooting To Win and three-year-olds have won nine of the past 30 editions of the George Main Stakes.
The 2014 George Main Stakes field is rounded out by Rosehill Guineas placegetter Teronado (barrier five) and Joe Pride-trained Laser Hawk (barrier nine).
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||35x4412x44||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||1||59kg||116|
|2||x63440x751||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||4||59kg||111|
|3||16x85506x3||TOYDINI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Corey Brown||3||59kg||109|
|4||313x820x88||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||–||9||59kg||105|
|5||x355430x21||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||Chris Munce||5||58.5kg||90|
|6||05x4525x22||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||2||57kg||113|
|7||1F2x3013x1||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||6||56.5kg||108|
|8||11312241×4||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||James McDonald||7||56.5kg||105|
|9||4x24912x50||GYPSY DIAMOND||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||10||56.5kg||100|
|10||121||PANZER DIVISION||Paul Messara||Brenton Avdulla||8||50.5kg||85|